Hong Kong Trip

I write this having just returned from a special planning meeting in Hong Kong for a proposed new Jesuit university there. I, along with Don Dodson, presidential professor of global outreach, attended the meeting of the new university's trustees to discuss details about the institution's founding should the proposal be accepted by the Hong Kong government. In the works for several years now, the proposal is an exciting opportunity for the Society of Jesus and its efforts to influence higher education worldwide. I am impressed with Don's work in his leading role in helping to design and create the new university.

Two events in particular were highlights of the trip. One was the chance to speak and participate in a panel discussion on "Education as a Tool to Combat Poverty" with Dr. John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University.In my address, I cited the impact Santa Clara's programs and initiatives have in helping improve communities around the world - the Global Social Benefit Incubator, immersion programs, Markkula Center, Arrupe Partnerships for Community-based Learning, and opportunities for Experiential Learning for Social Justice as part of the core curriculum. Santa Clara's contributions are noteworthy in their positive impact on the marginalized, the disenfranchised and the poor. Joining my colleagues in this discussion, however, reminded me that we are a part of something much bigger, more powerful and of greater impact than the contributions of a single institution. Collectively, the Jesuit network of institutions around the world is doing impressive things that empower communities through education, and its potential is growing. Santa Clara is one of many institutions that educate in ways that alleviate poverty around the world. It is this context that animates our mission and vision more deeply at Santa Clara.

Following the trustees meeting, Don and I attended a Santa Clara reception for alumni, parents and prospective students living in Hong Kong. I learned that the alumni network is alive in this vibrant and dynamic corner of the globe. The region is fertile ground for Santa Clara to strengthen relationships with our international family, and, as always, I invite our alumni around the world to keep in touch. We want to hear from you.